Insomnia could predict depression, thinking problems in older people,

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Insomnia is a common sleep disorder.

With insomnia, people may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality sleep.

This happens even if you have the time and the right environment to sleep well. Insomnia can get in the way of your daily activities and may make you feel sleepy during the day.

In a study from Johns Hopkins University, scientists found insomnia may strongly increase the risk that older adults will be unable to shake off depression.

For the study, the team analyzed data on nearly 600 people over age 60 who visited primary care centers in New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. All had some level of depression.

They found that compared to patients whose sleep improved, those with worsening sleep problems were about 28 times more likely to be diagnosed with major depression at the end of the 12-month study.

People whose sleep worsened also had nearly 12 times the odds of minor depression and were 10% more likely to report having suicidal thoughts.

Compared to patients whose sleep improved, those with persistent, but not worsening insomnia were more likely to have lasting depression. But their risk was not as high as patients whose sleep got worse.

These results suggest that, among older adults with depression, insomnia symptoms offer an important clue to their risks for persistent depression and suicidal ideation.

Older adults who are being treated for depression and whose sleep problems are persistent or worsening need further clinical attention.

The findings also suggest that treatment of sleep problems should be explored as a way to improve depression symptoms in older adults, as well as poor mental and health outcomes related to disturbed sleep.

If you care about sleep, please read studies about drugs that can treat sleep loss and insomnia, and restless sleep may be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease.

For more information about sleep, please see recent studies about exercise that can help you sleep better, and results showing that 7 hours of sleep is best for people in middle and old age.

The study was conducted by Adam Spira et al and published in the journal Sleep.

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